• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the significance of the title of the novel? (The title of this novel is 'To Kill a Mockingbird')

Extracts from this document...


What is the significance of the title of the novel? The title of this novel is 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and throughout the book the word mockingbird appears several times. The mockingbird is the most significant symbol in the novel. The motif of the story is the innocent creature of the mockingbird. What is a mockingbird? A mockingbird is a type of finch. It is a small plain bird and has a beautiful song. It got its name because its beautiful sing 'mocks' other birds. The mockingbird idea first comes about in chapter 10,when Atticus is telling the children how to use their shotguns. He tells them: "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em. But remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." It was very unusual for Atticus to say something like this, as he never tells Scout or Jem that anything is a 'sin'. This makes Scout a bit surprised and so Miss Maudie explains that it is because mockingbirds are neither harmful nor destructive and only make nice music for people to enjoy. Here is what she said: "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up peoples gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. ...read more.


Mr Underwood is likening Tom to a mockingbird/songbird. As a mockingbird is not harmful or a horrible creature but a nice peaceful one, Tom Robinson was a quiet family man who had done nothing wrong. His death was an injustice. In chapter 28,the children (Jem and Scout) are walking home from their school Halloween play. It is night time and so everywhere is dark and cold. The idea of the mockingbird appears when it says: 'High above us in the darkness a solitary mocker poured out his repertoire in blissful unawareness of whose tree he was sat in.' I think this is likening the children to mockingbirds because the mocking bird is innocent and unaware of whose three he is sat in and the children are innocent and unaware of what us about to happen next. In chapter 30,Atticus and Heck Tate are deciding what to do about the situation of Bob Ewells death. Both Atticus and Heck know that Boo killed Bob to save and help the children but to arrest Boo would probably kill him. Scout over-heard and says: "It'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird." This is saying that to arrest an innocent creature like Boo and make it public would kill him. They need to protect him as they have already lost one mockingbird (Tom Robinson) ...read more.


Also by her father telling her this it helps her to understand her father and what he has to do. She understands that he has to defend innocent people like Tom Robinson that have done no wrong. Over the course of this book Scout learns different lessons. She learns from Calpurnia that she should be polite to everyone, from Aunt Alexandra the value of being a lady and from Heck and Atticus the problems that could be caused by the society's prejudice. I think that over the course of this novel Scout comes out to be quite clever and forever learning new morals and ways of life. By the end of the novel she has learnt one key lesson. That she must see thing's from other people's views. She shows this in the book in the last chapter when she is standing on Boo Radley's front porch. Here is the quote on what she said: "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough." Here she puts herself in Boo Radley's shoes and imagines what it must be like for him. My final impression of Scout is that after all what she has been through she has become wiser and more grown up. She has learnt important values to life and has become more caring and understanding. Jemma Kendrick ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. An Analysis of the Significance of the Setting of To Kill a Mockingbird

    These efforts made some impact, however little as though much of southern America did not change its views, it was a step in the right direction. This is resembled with Tom Robinson's court case in To Kill a Mockingbird. In the case, though the verdict was still guilty, the jury

  2. What is the significance of the title 'To Kill a Mockingbird?'

    Later, we find out he is found guilty, imprisoned and left to await his death in jail. Both events have one similarity, Tension. This is created when Atticus aims at the rabid dog and defies all expectations when he hits it first time and when the Finch family are waiting for the jury's verdict at Tom Robinson's case.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird - In what sense are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley ...

    All he had done was provide a service to Mr Link Deas and Mayella Ewell (on a few occasions.)

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird (Chapter summaries).

    The Boy who had caused the up roar was asked his name and he replied Burris Ewell. Miss Caroline then told him to go home and to wash his hair and to have a bath, he then stood up and said he was about to leave any way because he had done his time for that year.

  1. Questions on "To kill a mockingbird" Chapters 28, 29, 30 and 31

    The ham costume had saved her life. Scout went on to describe the scuffling. She said that when Mr. Ewell was trying to squeeze her to death someone pulled him off of her, and she thought Jem had gotten up again.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird - critical review

    The children's next encounter with Boo comes nearer the end of the novel. The children are dressing up to go to the Halloween pageant and it is decided that they will attend unaccompanied. During the pageant Scout misses her cue and is so embarrassed that she wants to wait for everybody to go home before she and Jem leave.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee mentions ...

    you'll get a along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around it," (Pg.39) Second, Tom Robinson is another mockingbird in this novel.

  2. In what sense are Tom Robinson and Arthur (Boo) Radley considered to be "mockingbird" ...

    right thing to do, then how could he tell his children to do anything if he had done the wrong thing himself. Atticus displays the most courage by defending Tom Robinson in court. He knew that having a white man defend a black man in court was unacceptable.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work